Parking schemes to tackle traffic chaos in four neighbourhoods

Four city centre neighbourhoods plagued by traffic congestion are to get new parking schemes.

Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 11:58 am
Updated Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 3:05 pm
Coun Sioned-Mair Richards and Coun Pat Midgley pictured on Stafford Street and the bad parking on there. Picture: Chris Etchells

St Vincent’s, Effingham Road, Park Hill and Kelham Island are all suffering because commuters are taking advantage of free, unrestricted parking and leaving their cars all day long.

Residents have complained about not being able to park by their own homes and say vehicles are blocking junctions and private driveways.

Businesses are also annoyed that customers cannot get near because there are never any free spaces to park.

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Coun Douglas Johnson has welcomed a parking scheme in Kelham Island

Council officers say parking pressures have continued to grow as areas have developed and there are now high levels of requests for schemes.

The council has introduced a number of permit parking zones, mainly immediately around the city centre as well Hillsborough, which suffered from high levels of unrestricted commuter parking.

Officers are now looking at introducing more parking measures as well as reviewing existing area-wide schemes.

Around £72,000 will be spent on feasibility studies focusing on Park Hill, St Vincent’s and Effingham Road.

The Kelham Island and Neepsend scheme will cost around £624,00. Both are funded from Invest to Save, which provides short-term funding to councils.

Park Hill parking scheme

Manor Castle ward councillors Sioned-Mair Richards, Terry Fox and Pat Midgley said residents living on the streets behind Park Hill flats are at the end of their tether with parking problems.

It is particularly bad around Norfolk Park Road, Glencoe Road, Stafford Road and Fitzwalter Road.

Coun Richards said: “You have people parking there as they can stay for free all day and go down to get the tram or walk to work in the city centre.

“These are narrow streets and were not built for so many cars. Residents are concerned about rat runs, wing mirrors are being clipped and drivers are double parking so streets almost become one-way. We have emergency vehicles which can’t get down the street.

“People are parking across residents’ driveways and on corners so trying to get out becomes difficult.”

Coun Richards said there would be consultation with residents to find a scheme everyone agreed with.

“We need to look at how we do something that satisfies everybody and it has to be something which residents want themselves.

“It is going to take a lot of goodwill and compromise if we are going to find something most people can agree on so it will be quite hard work for residents and councillors alike to make it work.”

Kelham and Neepsend parking scheme

It was named the best neighbourhood in the UK last year, but Kelham Island is a nightmare in which to park.

Commuters have been blamed for leaving their cars there all day long which means residents and visitors struggle to find a space.

Officers are now looking at introducing a controlled parking zone and there will be a residents’ consultation meeting on October 9 at Noosa on Alma Street where people can see the proposals in more detail.

Officers say the scheme would manage traffic congestion and reduce the amount of time drivers spend searching for parking spaces – which in turn would cut down on pollution.

It would free up more spaces throughout the day by deterring all-day parking and help businesses because customers would be able to park more easily.

Residents would also benefit because they would have spaces for themselves, visitors and deliveries.

Officers also say it will improve air quality and noise and there would be better facilities for walking and cycling.

Coun Douglas Johnson, who represents Kelham Island, said it was a sensible scheme which local residents would welcome.

“The ward councillors have spent a lot of time discussing the problems of parking and traffic with residents and businesses in Kelham Island. I am very pleased to see our requests are finally being addressed.

“The problems are separate but linked. There is simply not enough room for cars in an area that is now densely packed with housing, bars, restaurants, pubs and industry.

“Space for vehicles should be prioritised for essential vehicles and for local residents. It should no longer be seen as a place where city centre commuters can absorb free parking.

“Key proposals are to make Green Lane safer by ending the rat-run along it and making it access-only.”

Coun Johnson said the new scheme would also help the environment.

“We very much hope the physical measures to be installed will add to the Green Kelham project – there could be planters instead of bollards. There should also be opportunities to add to the Kelham Art Trail.

“Rebalancing the costs of bringing cars into the city against public transport and the ease of walking and cycling is a critical aspect of improving air quality and tackling the climate crisis, as well as making our environment more enjoyable to live and work in.

“We now want to encourage residents to engage with the plans and for transport officers to engage with the residents.”